Google Lens

On Android, Google’s visual search tool can primarily be accessed from the homescreen or through Assistant. Google Lens is now testing a shortcut in Image Search.

Some Google for Android users today have spotted Lens in the search bar when using the Images tab. The multi-colored icon appears to the right of the voice microphone and opens the camera to perform a lookup or import an existing picture for analysis.

On initial run, a pop-up prompts users to “Search with your camera or photos.” Lens only appears while you’re in the Images tab, and switching to “All” results sees the icon immediately disappear.

Several users on the Google app beta are encountering this shortcut, but it’s not yet widely rolled out. The shortcut joins existing Lens integration in Images where every result can be sent/opened in the visual search tool.

The high-profile placement of Google Lens in the search bar might encourage more people to launch it. The new Google Assistant on the Pixel 4 does not have a Lens shortcut, while the homescreen icon has to manually be downloaded from the Play Store.

This arrangement has long been available on iOS since Lens is integrated into the Google Search client and not the standalone Assistant app. Overall, it makes sense to tie the two lookup capabilities together.

Speaking of the Google app, the company today made the dark mode official on Android 10, as well as iOS 12/13. It’s been available in beta for several months now.

More about Google Lens:

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: